High School Teacher Responds To KSD Proposals

Now is where some have to make a choice.  Is it better to be working for a district  that does not respect its teachers, or have the same job somewhere else where you are respected?  That is the question that I have to ask myself.  I love working with the colleagues and the students where I work.  But the decision I face is a tough decision for me and I know it will be for many of you.

I know that in these economic times it is difficult to be asking for more when so many of our families that support us financially and emotionally are suffering, too.  But no other company that I know of is not only asking for a reduction of pay, but also a reduction of employee rights.  NO OTHER company is using this economics excuse to restrict the rights of their employees so they later can squeeze them after the economics swing back.  Successful companies take harder hits in their administration in order to keep their most valued employees.  It is a give and take.

Questions need to be raised.  With the predicted layoff of teachers, there is not an equivalent reduction in administration.  So we will see an increase in the administration: teacher ratio above the 1:14 that we now have.  Does that make sense, or are they saving their jobs at the risk of ours?  I have not heard of the administration taking a cut in pay.  We are potentially losing days of pay even though the daily rate is staying the same.  Since the administration are paid year round, are they losing the equivalent amount?  Are they having a 8% reduction in force? Are they reducing their pay?  Does the superintendent need to make 4+ times more than the average teacher?  Can anyone say honestly that the administration have more effect on the lives of our students than the constant care and encouragement that the teachers do?  Are we so unprofessional that we need to be cared for at a greater rate than the students?  The District honestly does not have enough money to carry these teachers facing layoff for one year? If the economy doesn’t turn around, then phase out the jobs.  Certainly in 2 years we will have enough turn over to cover these RIF’s.  How about a cash bonus to allow some early retirement?

Being the lowest paid in the area, the Board is proposing to layoff our members, cut teacher pay by reducing our number of work days, and removing our right to bargain directly for our medical plans?  Hmm…are we working in the education field, where we are suppose to care for each other, or are we working for the banking industry, where it is cut throat and the little people are trampled on?  [Just a side note– they received their bonuses, didn’t they?] Then there is the question on why hasn’t the District adopted methods of gathering additional income that exist without the control of state and local taxes:  endowments, partnerships, etc.  But that is another entire email. 

In these troubling times, we all have to make a decision.  But in 35 years of teaching, I say as a group, as one voice, WE need to stand up!  Our numbers are important!!  Replacing 1800 teachers in not a possibility!  Being nurturing, and caring does not mean we do not have a backbone.  We are not second class citizens that deserve the crumbs that the 1st class citizens offer us. 

To my fellow teachers and staff, I say, have a great year! You deserve it for all the great work you do with our children.

 

Sincerely,

 

KSD High School Teacher

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One Response to “High School Teacher Responds To KSD Proposals”

  1. I TEACH, THEREFORE I EXIST Says:

    At least I can look myself in the mirror each morning knowing I have supported and continue to support those in the trenches. I know Dr. Grohe and the School Board probably cannot say the same. A good administrator works with his/her employees. A good school board does the same! However, all I’ve seen from the school board meetings is alot of head nodding when they hear the budget woes of the District. What I’d like to hear, as well as my colleagues who stand beside me, is how they will not allow one classroom teacher to be cut. Many teachers and even those who aren’t certificated, are sick and tired of seeing “wasted positions”. Those who have cushy jobs within buildings, but refuse to work with kids. Their jobs seem to be: 1. Spend time looking up stuff on laptops 2) Report any malcontents to the principal. How does that help our students? Time to realize that by eliminating ALL THOSE EXTRANEOUS POSITIONS, class sizes will go down–but only if the District will dip into their extra, extra reserves. Who needs that many fish sticks?

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